Auckland’s best food store, weekend market closed after 24 years

The French boutique and café La Cigale in Auckland is closing its doors after 24 years of “bringing France to Parnell”.

Owners Elizabeth and Mike Lind made the announcement on social media, as Aucklanders were quick to post messages lamenting the closure of what has become an institution for foodies over the past two decades.

The Linds’ Parnell store is known for its many faces.

Over the years it has included a relaxed bistro, a deli with French food and wine, a clothing store selling unique French fashion, a warehouse full of antiques and items sourced from the south of France. and a kitchen store.

Then there’s the bustling La Cigale weekend farmer’s market, inspired by French markets, regularly voted Auckland’s best food market by Metro Magazine.

“Mike and I have now decided it is time to start a new era in our lives,” Elizabeth Lind said in a client newsletter.

“We will close La Cigale early next year at the end of our lease.”

She said it had been 24 years since the couple had established the store and the market.

“It certainly looks like a long time ago. Our vacation in France in 1997 with our daughters Emma and Frances gave us the inspiration to launch La Cigale and the market at the end of that year,” he said. she declared.

Lind, however, did not rule out the possibility of another French market before it closed.

“We don’t yet know if and when under the Covid restrictions, if more market weekends are possible,” she said.

Customers took to social media to praise the Linds.

“Ohhh that’s terribly sad,” said one Instagram user.

“The saddest news, you are an Auckland institution! Where am I going to get my canelé? Another said.

On Facebook, an Internet user thanked the Linds for “bringing France to Parnell for so many years. We will miss you.”

“Your family made this corner of Parnell something special,” said another Facebook user, while a third spoke of the “fun and pleasure we felt while shopping and relaxing at The cicada”.

Elizabeth and Mike Lind at La Cigale in 2006. Photo / Olivia Hemus

However, those who wish to purchase a souvenir at the store can still do so.

With Covid restrictions now allowing the retail business to open in Auckland, everything at La Cigale is now for sale “at significantly reduced prices” before it closes.

“This includes all of our store stock and all of our appliances and accessories and of course all of the items that are part of the French feeling of La Cigale,” Lind said.

“When you walk in you will see different piles of things on the tables, for example we have a lot of plates, glasses and cutlery which we sell at extremely discounted prices.”

“There are a lot of things that make great Christmas gifts for your family, friends, or yourself. “

While it’s not possible to eat in-store at this time, customers will be able to purchase hot drinks to go and freshly baked pastries each morning.

“Thank you all for your great support over the years. We will all certainly miss you,” Lind concluded.

La Cigale photographed in 2015. Photo / Doug Sherring

During their 24 years, the couple also opened stores in Chancery and Ponsonby.

An offshoot of the La Cigale market also settled in Britomart for a time.

However, the weekend market and shop tucked down an alleyway on St Georges Bay Rd in Parnell has always been the heart of La Cigale.

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